Windows XP SP3 Problems Continue

So far, only HP desktops with AMD processors are affected, but a spokesperson for the chip maker says Microsoft is working on fixing the problems.

A rebooting problem related to the release of the Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 is continuing to cause problems with certain Hewlett-Packard desktops that use AMD processors, although a new patch is expected in a few days.

The problem with SP3 first began appearing a few days after Microsoft released SP3 for its XP operating system. In a blog post, Jesper Johansson, a former Microsoft employee, has been detailing since May 8 problems caused by the service pack.

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So far, it seems that only HP desktops using processors from Advanced Micro Devices have had problems. In his posting, Johansson wrote that the problem relates back to HP, and possibly other OEMs, using the same images for AMD-based machines that were used with Intel-based hardware. The result when the SP3 service pack is applied is a number of problems, including endless rebooting.

On May 8, Microsoft spokespeople said they were aware of the problem and were investigating further. On May 12, Jake Whitman, an AMD spokesperson, confirmed that the issues with the HP desktops are related to the images that were used and that HP and Microsoft are working to issue a patch to users within a few days that will fix any issues to SP3.

Whitman added, "The number of systems that this had affected were minimal."

The comments from AMD confirm the problems that Johansson described in his posting.

"Because the image for both Intel and AMD is the same all have the intelppm.sys driver installed and running," Johansson wrote. "That driver provides power management on Intel-based computers. On an AMD-based computer, amdk8.sys provides the same functionality. Microsoft points out in a Knowledge Base article that installing both drivers on the same computer is an unsupported configuration, putting the blame on the OEM that deploys the image."

Johansson added: "Ordinarily, having intelppm.sys running on an AMD-based computer appears to cause no problems. However, on the first reboot after a service pack installation, it causes a big problem. The computer either fails to boot, as in my case, or crashes with a STOP error code of 0x0000007e."

In his blog, Johansson offers a number of fixes for users who have installed SP3 on affected AMD-based HP desktops.